by Anurag Gupta

Series 1 – Architecture Environment Design

Who the heck is Anurag Gupta?

The founder of the difference engine (.ca) and a rabble rouser who gets 40k a day for his consulting services.

Canadian Business Superstar, Chip Wilson, founder of  Lululemon, (look it up if you don’t already know the story) says: “Anurag’s quality of work and effectiveness is awesome and the return on investment is unequaled.”

“We set up a game with them to double our business from $7 to $14 million CDN over a year, and we did it in 3 months.” – Brian Low, Partner, Panther Construction.

“Those guys are crazy – I never drank so much scotch, smoked so many cigars or had so much fun with my family. Thank god they are gone.” – Greg Sharp, MD, DO

“We have customer-story, after story, about the amazing great experiences they have had …it’s so uplifting. In 22 years we have experienced record daily sales and every month has been a record month since doing the work.” – Terisa Adam

“We set up a plan to achieve $12.5 million in sales in one year and we did it in two months, … I have much more time with my family, now I actually love what I am doing, I love my job now…. It’s fun…” – Treya Klassen

“You don’t know anything and not only that, You’re full of s*!t”

People often ask what is behind our success in impacting companies’ performances. I tell the truth. I let them know the two foundational principles of our work.

1. You don’t know anything.
2. You are full of s*!t.

If you can’t hear that or you don’t understand that – you can’t work with us. To which I would also add, “You have no place running a company”.

Here’s the logic. Most people want results that are different than what they have. How they got the results is based on what they currently know. People have trouble letting go of what they currently know to get to the next level of results. (You don’t know anything).

How are you full of s*!t? If your business were an operating room, would you use any of your current excuses for being late, not being ready or allowing some of your team to not do their work?

Really, you are too busy to work out or get those reports done but you can make that golf game or clear all decks for that hot date? Interesting……

It’s a function of Architecture and Design

We look at your company like a very high quality product – it takes a very thoughtful design and build of the company, to be reliable, perform well and for you to reallyenjoy using it. We are business architects and that will be the basis of work we do in this series together.

What difference does this make?

We had a client that could not crack $7 million no matter how many coaches, consultants or goats they sacrificed. They hired us and we set a goal to double their sales to $14 million in one year. We developed a sales approach and started to implement it. In two days we realized it was going nowhere inside the current design of the organization. We rebuilt it in 4 weeks and then hit $15 million in 3 months.

Architecting performance:

Your company has a design, just like a car. Let’s say, it’s functioning like a car with only two gears. Two gears can only take you up to 60km/h but no faster. No better gas, pushing the pedal harder, having your mother-in-law in the back or even hiring a race car driver will make it go faster with that architecture. It takes a rebuild of the car itself.

Let’s look at this straight up. Whatever you are selling – product or service – it must perform to customer expectations with reliability. You take the time and effort to design and build what you are selling so it functions as well as required and is consistently reliable. If your product starts to have a weak spot, it is quickly addressed otherwise it would likely no longer find a buyer.

Your business architecture, on the other hand, has various strengths and weaknesses, and various flaws that you put up with. Our assertion is: if you put up with the same number of flaws in what you sell, that you put up with in your business, no one would buy it. If parts of your car didn’t do what they were supposed to as often as some of your people (or you) you’d trade it in for a donkey.

If we were to look at your business the same way we would look at building your dream house we would want to carefully design it to give us exactly the experience and performance we wanted. We take time, we don’t cut corners. We know we are going to spend a lot of time here. We want it to be great.

It starts with Intention

We have all had the experience of knowing more was possible, trying numerous things and going nowhere, changes just not sticking and wondering why we didn’t buyApple stock sooner. I became keenly interested in learning where limiting architecture came from.

As it turned out, I discovered that before anything can actually be designed or built effectively it has to have a certain “intention”.

We are not always aware of what our intention is. In the sales breakthrough example above where we hit $ 15 Million in three months; one of the partners we were working with said his intention was to grow the business.

After digging under the surface we revealed (also news to him) that he had worked hard for many years, was training daily for the iron man, had a new baby and setting up his new house – and now believed he must protect his precariously balanced life. (This is the full of s*!t part). While he said his intention was to increase his business his real intention was to protect his (just barely) balanced life. He believed that any growth beyond a certain amount would throw him in to overwhelm and so without realizing it, he had built bottlenecks preventing growth. Every business has its own version of this. What are yours?

Performance breakthroughs – the impact of Environment

Let’s look at the first critical component of business architecture. Everyone knows that getting the best out of your people (and yourself) is critical and often frustrating. How we have produced breakthroughs in performance, time and time again, is by developing the right environment that humans respond to – cultural and physical. In our pursuit of effectiveness we observed situations like the following – when an emergency deadline happens, within a minute everyone is ten times more productive. The deadline is over; we go back to being slower and less productive.

We learned we can design an environment to elicit what we want. We started to look at things like, what kind of environment would elicit or evoke peoples’ passion or productivity or responsibility or authentic communication.

We began to notice other things. You can be noisy in a pub with your friends. If we walk from there into a church your behavior will immediately change – no management needed. Not only this – if I try and manage you to make noise in the church, you will resist. Environments pull for something and also suppress other things.

Why won’t your planned changes stick?

Without changing the environment you might fight a losing battle. With the right environment it could happen by itself.

In my work, I chose to provide our clients with major results, by working on the environment. It is of course very important that people are communicating responsibly, authentically and with velocity. I used to do work to get people to see it is important and to get past their fears – until my study of environments trumped all of that.

I noticed in high performance environments such a surgery there is no need to train an anesthesiologist to speak up to the surgeon when it’s necessary. An anesthesiologist wouldn’t say, “Well Surgeon Delaney, I wanted to tell you he was not quite under yet, but you seemed a little miffed today so I thought I’d wait.” Here, clearly, communication training in this environment is not even necessary. It would NEVER OCCUR not to communicate, or be accountable. Therefore architecting an environment that does not require any form of behavior modification is clearly part of a high performance organization.

So how do you begin to apply these ideas to your business?

Our goal over the next 12 months is to teach you how. We believe it is possible to draw up the blueprints to achieve any level of results, quantitative or qualitative, that you want. Check in online, www.TheOGM.com to listen to me discuss these principles in greater depth, share a few case studies, and give you some suggestions on beginning the work yourself.

Join us on this epic journey and learn remarkable things like: How to get your children to clean their room. How to design your business and your life exactly as you want it. Why they are driving in the left lane at that speed. How to create a business that lights you up and invigorates you. What women really want (ya, right) and other universal mysteries.

“The coaching and mentoring has already stretched every member of our management team beyond anything we thought possible and the effectiveness of our communication with customers and each other has become incredibly powerful. Our accelerated business growth (we have increased monthly [revenue] by eight times) is fast turning Screenetics into a force to be reckoned with … ” Lorraine King, Director, Screenetics.

Anurag Gupta

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